In this platform research, our focus makes the distinction between ‘kai’ as a culturally defined Māori notion and western interpretations of ‘food’. “He moumou kai, he moumou tāngata” describes a state where our existence and futures as healthy Māori people (Mauri Ora: Human Flourishing) are put at risk because our kai sources (Te Tai Ao: The Natural Environment), including access to kai, growing kai, preparing kai, the lore/law pertaining to kai, and control of kai systems (Whai Rawa: Māori Economies) is diminishing. Without kai or wai the people will perish!
This project explores the role that enterprise plays in indigenous self-determination. In New Zealand, we have chosen to examine Māori business networks (MBNs), which we argue are a manifestation of this struggle, but suffer from the absence of a sustainable business model. Our research question is, 'what is the role of Māori business networks in Māori self-determination and sustainable economic development'?